Tax the Rich

https://tinyurl.com/ukmrr4e8

This fantastic journalism makes it absolutely clear – the tax system fails to tax the wealthy. Never mind the statutory rates being too low. This is a deeper problem. The ultra-wealthy simply pay nothing. One year, poor Jeff Bezos’s income was so low that he was able to claim and take a $4000 child tax credit.

88 thoughts on “Tax the Rich

        1. There is a difference.

          Bezos has made your life easier and helped us manage the pandemic. He has served us well.

          What have welfare recipients done to make the world better for everyone?

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          1. “What have welfare recipients done to make the world better for everyone?”

            You’re assuming a lot here. But to answer your question in the most extreme case: I don’t care. I think everyone has a right to some basic human comfort and dignity regardless of their “contribution.” I don’t think anyone is more or less deserving of a decent life based on how quickly I can have something delivered.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. “Well, that system insures there will be a lot of non-contributors.”

            That statement is based on a very low and widely disputed view of human nature.

            Many other countries where the basic needs of everybody are met as part of the social contract do not suffer from a lack of hard work, productivity, entrepreneurship and ambition. But, as always, do not let evidence modify what you really, really want to believe.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. “What have welfare recipients done to make the world better for everyone?”

            Worked at the menial jobs that no one wants and gets crap wages. Ya know, the working poor?

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      1. You’ll find me quite intolerant of oligarchs whose employees must piss in bottles and shit in delivery trucks for fear of failing productivity quotas. But then again, I’m old fashioned.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. No loopholes. The progressive tax is fine. Loopholes by definition are for the rich. Have you ever heard of someone using a loophole in the EIC? Or the ACA?

      I’m very angry that someone at the IRS may have leaked personal information on these wealthy taxpayers. Angry and very grateful.

      I must admit the one I liked was the person with 100s of millions of unrealized gains who borrowed against them rather than sell for his pocket change. I wonder if a bank will lend me a hundred grand against my unrealized gains… oh, no, they can’t. It’s all in an IRA. No loophole for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So, the left’s policies come back to bite them and they squeal like frustrated toddlers.

    Every case of successful tax avoidance results from efforts to use the tax code to manipulate the marketplace with ‘incentives.’

    The only fair tax system is one that is behavior neutral, like a flat income, or better, flat consumption tax. As soon as you start using the tax code to manipulate behavior in the marketplace, it just becomes a matter of hiring accountants smarter than the average legislator, which is not a terribly high bar.

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    1. “The only fair tax system is one that is behavior neutral”

      I do mostly agree with this, but flat taxes and consumption taxes are regressive. I know that’s probably fine for you, but most people are strongly in favor of progressive taxation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Most people put little thought into economics or ethics.

        Taxes should pay our share of the cost of maintaining the Rule of Law and protecting us from external enemies. A flat tax accomplishes that as wealthy people earn and spend more.

        A progressive tax serves only envy and greed.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “A progressive tax serves only envy and greed.”

          Agreed. There is no objective way to justify progressivity.

          In monetary terms, all taxation devalues the currency. Progressive taxation only means that poor people devalue the currency less than rich people. The problem that progressivity is meant to solve just recurs in a different form.

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          1. What really amazes me is the absolute inability of the left to learn from experience.

            After all, they did this before as recently as LBJ’s Great Society, massively raising taxes on the productive to redistribute wealth to the non-productive. The result was the destruction of the Black family which had provided support through slavery, reconstruction and JIm Crow, and a great INCREASE in dependency.

            Yet their solution to the wreckage they left is to do the same thing harder and expect this time it will work.

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          2. “What really amazes me is the absolute inability of the left to learn from experience.’

            Consider this: Trickle down has been attempted three times since 1980 and FAILED to produce outcomes promised EVERY SINGLE TIME.

            So exactly who is it that does not learn from experience?

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          3. Just because you don’t understand how it succeeds doesn’t mean that it hasn’t.

            The benefit to the middle class is better employment opportunity for their children,

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          4. Delusoinal. It does not work and never has worked. Your pipedream is just that and three times the failure still doesn’t convince you, then nothing will.

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          5. Hard to reply since you have provided no evidence of how it did not work.

            Show me some evidence that tax reductions on the investing class did not result in additional capital investment, which is what generates provate sector jobs.

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          6. You claimed that trickle down has worked; I say it doesn’t. You provide me evidence that it does and I’ll provide you with proof that it doesn’t.

            And the easiest proof that it doesn’t was the 2017 “reform” package where as companies did not invest in people, research and development or resources, but used the new tax windfall into stock buybacks and c-suite bonuses and pay raises.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Buy backs are legitimate preparation for future investment when there is no immediate opportunity for expansion.

            And lots of manufacturing returned to the US

            https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/196000-jobs-added-manufacturing-2017

            https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/2018-saw-largest-increase-manufacturing-jobs-21-years

            Of course, it will still take a while to get back where we should be before Obama announced and end to US manufacturing and did his best with taxes and regulation to make it so.

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          8. While this piece questions Bidenomics, it does say clearly that trickle down didn’t work.

            https://www.pilotonline.com/opinion/columns/vp-ed-column-schrager-0614-20210613-bab2heqmy5hvhnjlzl7pzisf2y-story.html

            And if you believe that Obama was the cause of manufacturing jobs disappearing, get in your time machine and head to NW PA in the late 70-80’s (including the Reagan years) and tell me that outflow didn’t start until Obama was elected. Jobs did not return under Ragan, Bush I, Clinton, or Bush II.

            And not as many manufacturing jobs returned as Jeffrey claims. Just as many continued to disappear. See the Carrier plant in Indiana as an example.

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          9. “There is no objective way to justify progressivity.”

            Of course there is. The marginal value of money is a well-established economic concept. The more you have of it, the less you care about it at the margin. A tax of $1000 on the income of an Amazon driver is a bigger sacrifice for that driver than a $100,000,000 tax would be on Jeff Bezos.

            Besides that, Willy Sutton’s answer to “Why rob banks?” applies.

            “Taxation devalues the currency” is a questionable claim at best. Maybe you are getting confused because it is widely accepted in economics that the opposite formulation is true – Currency devaluation is a de facto tax?

            Liked by 1 person

          10. RE: “‘Taxation devalues the currency’ is a questionable claim at best.”

            It is easily explained. Taxes divert money from production, meaning fewer goods are produced. Fewer goods in relation to money is one of the forms devaluation of the currency can take.

            I would add that the marginal value of money is subjective. Thus to say that the marginal value of money justifies a progressive income tax is to apply a subjective justification. A logical fallacy.

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          11. ” Taxes divert money from production,”…

            You know what else diverts money from production? C-Suite pay and bonuses that pay those individuals 200-300 times more than the ACTUAL producers: The workers. And then there are stock buybacks that were used after the 2017 tax “reform” package. That is not money going to production, it is going to the retirements and family trusts for the children.

            At least taxes fund things like infrastructure and the like, The other money sits in a couple of well connected family member’s accounts and wallets.

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          12. “It is easily explained.”

            It might be easy, but that “easy” explanation is baloney. Taxes do NOT divert money from production. There is the same number of dollars and the same amount of goods in the economy the day before and the day after an income tax is collected.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. RE: “You know what else diverts money from production? C-Suite pay and bonuses that pay those individuals 200-300 times more than the ACTUAL producers: The workers.”

            Not true. Production requires management.

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          14. “Production requires management.”

            Sure it does. No arguement there.

            But explain how management deserves to be paid 300-400 times that of the production workers who actually pay taxes on their labor income.

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          15. RE: “There is the same number of dollars and the same amount of goods in the economy the day before and the day after an income tax is collected.”

            Not true. The tax payment must be set aside from production before it is rendered.

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          16. “Not true. The tax payment must be set aside from production before it is rendered.”

            You have no idea what you are talking about.
            Another empty word salad.
            The phrase “set aside from production” is meaningless.

            Take an individual who buys a machine that produces widgets. He makes some widgets and sells them for a profit. His profit and his taxes are decreased by depreciation which allows machines to be replaced from tax-free funds. Taxes are paid from profits. If his profits are not taxed he has income to spend on things he wants. If some of it is taxed he has less to spend on what he wants but the government has those funds to spend on what it needs. In either case the value of the currency involved has not been devalued by taxation. And no production has been lost. Period.

            Liked by 1 person

          17. “The benefit to the middle class is better employment opportunity for their children”

            Are you absolutely nuts? Have you never talked to a young person?

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          18. “Show me some evidence that tax reductions on the investing class did not result in additional capital investment, which is what generates private sector jobs.”

            It is impossible to prove a negative. The burden on you is to prove that they did. But between the massive amounts of capital generated by depreciation charges. soaring pre-tax earnings and the massive amount of free cash generated by trade deficits you will be hard pressed to find ANY evidence to support this trickle down myth.

            What is not a myth is that ever since this trickle down (“voodoo”) economics has been the policy of the government, wealth has moved massively away from ordinary people and into the hands of a few thousand oligarchs.

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          19. “Obama announced and end to US manufacturing and did his best with taxes and regulation to make it so.”

            More of your famous home-made alternative facts. President Obama made no such announcement. And the tax code changes on his watch was to cut them.

            https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2011/09/13/10287/obama-vs-bush-whos-the-bigger-tax-cutter/

            After the disastrous collapse of manufacturing in 2008 and 2009 – Thanks GOP! – manufacturing jobs growth grew slowly but steadily. There was no magic inflection point under Trump. And there is NOTHING in either of your links that is evidence of “lots of manufacturing returned to the US” or that anything Trump did was the cause. Somebody keeps telling us that correlation is not causation.

            You really do not know what you are talking about when you keep claiming that income tax policy drives jobs overseas. A U.S. manufacturer owes income tax on global earnings. Not hard to understand but you seem to struggle with that simple concept.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. The Left?

      More ahistorical nonsense. Kinda typical

      The current tax code is mostly the one written and passed WITHOUT Democratic Party involvement in 2001 by Bush and then again in 2017 by Trump. There have been tweaks since then but only tweaks.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Inside the ideological confines of economics textbooks perhaps, where ceteris paribus is used to conveniently disregard confounding variables.

            In the real world, one’s boss and/or landlord can arbitrarily end your ability to feed yourself or keep a roof over your head. Your health insurance company can decide where you can be treated and which treatments you may receive. Private ISPs and media control the information we access. Etc.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Absent government compulsion, you can just take your business elsewhere.”

            In the real world and for real people who have to feed their children, pay their rent and need their health insurance that is a purely theoretical possiblity and not actually a viable option. The result is that we have become a nation of “wage slaves” with most people afraid to challenge the bosses in any way.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. We have a nation in which millions of jobs are unfilled and people walk hundreds of miles for those opportunities.

            The only way anyone is a wage slave is if the government does not allow them to change jobs, or open a business.

            What you actually want is employer slaves who must pay more than a worker’s efforts are worth in a competitive market to those employees favored by goverment.

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          4. I suppose that the people walking hundreds of miles for those “opportunities” are the illegal immigrants driven here by violence and starvation? Right?

            So, no need to put up with abuse from your tyrannical boss, “take your business elsewhere” and join the migrants picking grapes and plucking chickens. Your kids can survive in a migrant camp – probably. And, as everyone knows, decent healthcare is just a luxury for the rich. Besides, in spite of living in squalor and working 12 hour shifts, you might not get sick.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. “Or you can offer your employer more skills and loyalty.”

            How much “loyalty” is enough? And how is it manifest? Working OT without pay? Keeping mum about unsafe conditions? Don’t join a union?

            This statement is a tacit admission of the point being discussed – private tyranny exists.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. RE: “This fantastic journalism makes it absolutely clear – the tax system fails to tax the wealthy.”

    Not exactly. The article shows that the wealthy sometimes pay little to no federal income tax. It doesn’t show that this is a problem in any definitive way.

    Taxation per se is a form of taking. It is impossible to take goods from anyone without impoverishing them to a corresponding degree. Since no one inherently deserves to have goods taken from them, arguments arise over the justifications for doing so.

    As a practical matter, the best way to resolve or diffuse the arguments is to keep the taking as small as possible so that no one feels abused by it. Unfortunately, we have allowed our federal government to grow so large that the taking it requires has become a burden and a natural cause of (sometimes irrational) dispute.

    This is the context in which I read the article. That rich people don’t pay federal income tax in some years doesn’t bother me. Their wealth is good for the economy in other ways; for example, as investment in the production of goods we all want. Also, federal income tax is only one of many taxes all of us pay. Others are state income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes.

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    1. Quibble all you want and if you are happy that Jeff Bezos and these 24 other BILLIONAIRES typically pay less federal tax than you, fine.

      Personally, I find a system with such an outcome to be a broken system badly in need of repair.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Since the current system is the product of evolution (or dialectic, if you prefer), your only options for fixing it would be radical ones. For example, we could introduce new definitions of income, or we could confiscate wealth arbitrarily, or we could adopt a flat tax. None, however, will fix a “broken system,” because the problem is taxation itself.

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        1. “The problem is taxation itself?”

          If I am not mistaken your entire career and now your retirement has been at public expense. Should we have not engaged your services? Assuming that they were needed, where should the money to pay you have come from if not taxation?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. You are mistaken and your questions are meaningless. I could have earned my defense contracting income in a much larger or much smaller defense industry. Besides, I don’t argue that taxation is wrong, only that taxation breeds disputes over justification, most of which are irrational. For instance, you say the tax system we have is broken, but there is no evidence that it is, just your stated opinion that you don’t like it.

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          1. Uh, now you are shucking and jiving. You stated that “The problem is taxation itself.” Now you are saying that it is NOT a problem because YOU could have lived off MY tax dollars no matter what level taxation was at. Is that a logical argument? I think not.

            There is PLENTY of evidence that the tax system is broken. Uh, for example, this Pro Publica article on actual taxes paid by the world’s richest people. You do not get to accuse me of not having evidence when this whole thread is about the evidence that support that conclusion.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “There is PLENTY of evidence that the tax system is broken. Uh, for example, this Pro Publica article on actual taxes paid by the world’s richest people.”

            You say that’s a problem. I don’t. I note, for example, that rich people do pay taxes, just not federal income taxes in some years.

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          3. “I note, for example, that rich people do pay taxes, just not federal income taxes in some years.”

            I seem to recall assertions from the conservatives that 1/2 of Americans pay no federal income taxes and they are the freeloaders. Romney lost an election after speaking about that.

            But, we all know that those same people, no matter how poor, still pay taxes. Sales, gas, property, etc. are unavoidable.

            Tax codes are designed and written by wealthy companies and families. So the loopholes are designed and applied as expected.

            Get rid of all loopholes and incentives and we could have a minimal progressive tax from the poorest to the richest (say 1% to 39.5%), a flat corporate tax of 10% or less, and have all the revenue we need.

            Of course that requires political will. And with 1/2 of one major party believing in Jewish space lasers, Chavez’s control of our election and Blood Libel mixed with pizza, we may be a while.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. …”we could introduce new definitions of income,”

    I believe that has been accomplished by those who pushed for dividend-type income to be different than earnings. Lawyers and accountants got rich off the rich getting those definitions into the tax code.

    …”because the problem is taxation itself.”

    Without taxation, how are roads to be maintained? How is our national security to be secured? How do we work to develop relationships with the rest of the world? (You may not like that, but it is part of things today. America ONLY ain’t sustainable)

    Taxation is a necessary evil. It is not a problem; it should be the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Taxation is a necessary evil.”

      Agreed. I recommend we pay attention to the magiitude of the evil. Changing the tax code to shift the burden from one shoulder to another won’t solve the basic problem.

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    1. The article from Pro Publica is about the taxes paid by 25 billionaires. There are no lies, inane or otherwise. A tax system where the richest people in the known universe pay almost zero income tax is a system that needs major reform. This is not hard to understand – even for you – if you try real hard.

      As always, your post is both stupid and uncivil. Did I mention stupid? I wonder, did you even finish high school? It is not obvious from your posts that you have ANY education.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: ” A tax system where the richest people in the known universe pay almost zero income tax is a system that needs major reform.”

        Why?

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      2. Wow, what a “civil” post from you. YOU always claim we need to tax the RICH. I merely addressed the FACT that the rich already do pay most of the taxes. I dont blame anyone for using the tax code for their benefit. I am sure you do too unless you are an idiot (thats debatable). It seems all the money spent on YOUR education was wasted in light of all of these moronic posts. So while you pretend to be all high and mighty, only your left wing extremist pals are amused with your insults and babbling. Kiss this….

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      3. BTW, do EVER consider how much in taxes these billionaires pay through the businesses they run. NO…because it doesn’t fit in your bullshit narrative.

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        1. You mean the taxes that were cut to 15% IN 2017? And then the majority of those tax “reforms” went into stock buybacks and c0suite bonuses and pay increases.

          Yeah Lots of tax revenue there.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Perhaps because they have most of the money.

      I had the pleasure of getting to know a very wealthy man (conservative, too, we debated Obama and Obamacare frequently) who made his money in banking and housing and he admonished a friend of mine who was complaining about the taxes he had to pay after a land deal.

      Essentially he said he was happy to pay a lot of taxes because that meant he made a lot of money. And, more importantly, he knew he was a lucky person to be born into some wealth, built on that and lived in a nation that was secure and where he could become rich with a good amount of safety and minimal corruption at judicial and local levels.

      His glass was always half full.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whatever…the secret is you only pay taxes when you sell an asset not while you hold it which this ignorant story tries to make a point of.

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        1. Talk about ignorant. You pay income taxes on your labor income every week (or bi-weekly or monthly, depending on your pay schedule). The rich do not pay the same rate on dividend income. And the majority of the rich only have dividend income so they pay less in a percentage of taxes than you do.

          Warren Buffet made that point a few years ago when he said it was wrong for his secretary to pay a higher tax rate on her income than he does on his.

          If you want to call Mr. Buffet ignorant, go ahead. But it would only prove YOUR ignorance.

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  4. Ok, I read this stupid story for fun and just as I thought it is left wing wealth envy crap right up babble mouth Paul’s alley. It compares apples to oranges. The gist is these billionaires net worth goes up but they pay no tax on the increase in value of their assets. BIG DUH!! They have little to no taxable income because they have no salary. Even a f*****g baboon can figure that out. No one pays taxes on the increase in the value of anything until they sell (think house). Even a f*****g baboons knows that. So after all that money spent on education, a f*****g baboon is smarter than Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1) Your language proves the point I made about your ignorance.

      2) They have to taxable income because of loopholes pushed into the tax code that lowers or prevents taxation on their ever growing wealth.

      3) I disagree with Paul, I think the baboon is smarter than you.

      Liked by 1 person

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